Perhaps my story will change something in the attitude towards validators, which I very much doubt. Respect to all validators. You are cool!!
About a year ago, the Stake Wars testnet ended, where one of the rewards was the delegation NEAR tokens to the best testnet participants to “expand the network and increase the decentralization of the network.”
After almost six months, I finally got the delegation from MetaPool, which in my case amounted to about 25 000 NEAR. Mathematically, launching the node in this situation was unprofitable, but I still decided to support decentralization and development of network.
For 8 months I haven’t seen any seriously development of the network, nor the desire of the project to really engage in scaling and decentralization. In September, 3, an additional delegation was received (approx. 50 000 NEAR), which brought the maintenance of the server to breakeven. In addition, I received 500 000 MP votes from MPVblock (Thank you for you trust!), which was supposed to further increase the delegation.
“Finally I can buy a cup of coffee for the work of the validator” - I thought. However, a few day after, 15 000 NEAR were undelegated then another 10 000, then another and another.
The result - my validator was inactive. I guess, my work with the Near protocol is completed.
Active days - 247
Active epochs - 427
Server costs - 480 euros (I didn’t rent a backup server, although it would have been more correct, but then the costs would have x2)
Time spent - priceless
Earning - 180 NEAR (178 euros at the moment)
Loss - 300+ euros
I agree with you. This is a very big problem that still exists. I am also a Near validator, and my costs currently exceed the profit received. The only hope is for a bullrun and an increase in the price of the Near token, but now in fact I am working at a loss.
I took second place at stakeware and have extensive technical experience and am able to solve problems that arise on my own; it is on individual validators like us that decentralization rests.
We can talk a lot about the fact that we validators should collect the stake ourselves, but not all of us are influencers. If the project managers are satisfied with this situation, then soon all networks will be managed by 5-10 people who will manipulate in the style of Wall Street sharks.
With such a position as it is now, soon individual validators will cease to exist as a class - this is a huge blow to decentralization, something needs to be decided about this, because a validator is a profession that requires great technical skills and it should be well paid.
According to calculations, the minimum subsidized stake from Near should be around 700k tokens, which, with a 10% validator commission, gives a payment of $1000 per month. I think this is the minimum decent payment for our knowledge and skills.
Totally agree with your position, most of the Stake Wars III winners are still running a node with losses, some members have suggested some improvements to the staking protocol, including a Validator Working Group but until now nothing have changed, there are two new proposals, I suggest to read the proposals and define a date in the short time to advance.
It’s disappointing to hear about your experience with the delegation of NEAR tokens as a validator. Your commitment to supporting decentralization is commendable. Sometimes, the dynamics in these networks can be challenging. Keep in mind that the blockchain space is still evolving, and there might be room for improvements in these processes. Your efforts are valuable, and hopefully, your contributions won’t go unnoticed in the long run.